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'Russian propaganda wants to stop aid to Ukraine': statement

12.10.2022 14:30
Statement by Stanisław Żaryn, a senior official at the Polish Prime Minister's Office and the government's pointman for cyberspace security:
Stanisław Żaryn
Stanisław ŻarynPAP/Mateusz Marek

Russian institutions responsible for carrying out information warfare activities continuously monitor the situation in Western countries. They identify those actions and speeches that can be used to benefit Russian interests and propaganda efforts. The Kremlin's propaganda publicizes opinions and speeches favorable to itself. But it also manipulates the picture of events to pursue its hostile objectives.

In recent weeks, material has been published that manipulates events in Europe to show that the people of Western countries are demanding an end to aid to Ukraine. On 5 October, the website Inosmi.ru posted an entry entitled 'The patience of Austrians has run out. They demand the lifting of sanctions on Russia'. The text promoted an initiative by a group of activists centered around blogger and entrepreneur Gerald Markel to write a letter to the Austrian government calling for the lifting of sanctions on Russia. The authors of the letter demanded the immediate restoration of the country's absolute neutrality towards all participants in the war in Ukraine. They also proposed Vienna as a venue for peace talks, which would be attended by the leaders of the parties in conflict. According to information provided by the portal, the letter had 40 000 signatures. The topic of the above-mentioned initiative was also raised by the Lenta.ru portal in a text entitled 'Austrians demanded an end to support for Ukraine'. The article highlighted the growing indignation of the Austrian population caused by providing assistance to Kiev in the form of fuel and arms supplies.

A similar message was directed in relation to the alleged German position. The Russian website Inosmi released the entry 'Not our war: terrified Germans do not want to support Ukraine'. It is a collection of statements by people in Germany to convince the viewer that the people there ‘sacrificed their well-being for this war’. The text also suggests that public support for helping Ukrainian refugees is declining - a phenomenon that is supposed to be confirmed by local protests taking place under the slogans of, among other things, lifting sanctions against the Russian Federation and restoring energy imports from Russia. In addition, themes of opposition from the German public to continued military aid to Ukraine were also exposed, following recent statements by president V. Zelensky rejecting the possibility of negotiations with Russia. The leading slogan of the disgruntled Germans, in addition to an ‘affordable energy policy’, is, according to Russian narrative – ‘a policy aimed at concluding peace instead of supplying weapons to Ukraine’.

On 5 October, the Polish-language version of the Russian propaganda website NewsFront published an article entitled 'US conservatives opposed to aid for Ukraine', which reported that the Conservative Action Conference of the World (CPAC) had called on the US Democratic Party to abandon its policy of support for Ukraine.

Similar propaganda activities were carried out by Russia following, among others, demonstrations organized in the Czech Republic by pro-Russian, nationalist and Eurosceptic circles. The Kremlin's propaganda attempted to suggest that Czechs were taking to the streets en masse because they demanded that the government withdraw sanctions on Russia, maintain political-military neutrality, protect the republic's interests and declare the departure of refugees from Ukraine after the end of military operation in their country. The misinformation indicated that the Czech Republic was another country expecting a return to negotiations and talks with Russia.

The above information activities are intended to falsely exaggerate the trend among European societies, which are allegedly massively opposed to providing aid to Kiev (including in the form of armaments) and are appealing to their leaders to remain neutral, including not taking sides in the conflict.

Stanisław Żaryn

Government Plenipotentiary for the Security of Information Space of the Republic of Poland